The text below is an excerpt from the original article by Giovanna Mingarelli, published September 8, 2013 on The Huffington Post.
Albert Einstein was once asked by a journalist about his formula for success, and he said: “If A is success, I should say the formula is A = X + Y + Z, X being work, Y being play and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”
In her recent TEDTalk, “The Game That Can Give you 10 Extra Years of Life,” leading game designer Jane McGonical explores how playing games can not only improve the work we do, as Einstein realized in his own life, but can also be used as a key to greater longevity and overall personal happiness.
Across her body of literature, McGonical argues that all good gameplay is hard work. It’s hard work that we enjoy and choose for ourselves. And, based on the most recent scientific findings, when we do hard work that we love, we are priming our minds for happiness.
Satisfying work always starts with two things: a clear goal and actionable next steps toward achieving that goal. A great way to break down this work is by dividing our goal into bite-size, actionable items (these are also known as microtasks or microactions).
In fact, I know from first-hand experience that gamifying a process with microactions is not only fun and rewarding, but can also be incredibly useful.
In 2009, I was introduced to the fabulous Cindy Gallop, CEO and Founder of a radically simple web-meets-world online platform designed to transform intentions into action: IfWeRanTheWorld.
Madly in love with the concept from day one, I would become the number one “superhero” on the platform over the course of several years. I roped in my entire family, friends and personal contacts, and we used microactions to crowdsource everything from election campaigns to seeing beauty in everything.
Microacting, just as McGonical explains in her TEDTalk, makes me happy. Having a tool to use as an outlet to structure the activities I am already doing in my day-to-day life with the support of peers is great fun. It’s also incredibly versatile as there’s no limit to what you can do using microactions.